For Mother’s Day {a free printable}

A few months back, Jake and I went to that marriage conference and we walked away with so many good things. One of my favorite little nuggets of wisdom had to do with motherhood. As I was approaching the days of when motherhood became an actual possibility (hello, 2 year anniversary next week!) I began to think so much more about being a mom, for real. Not just knowing it, but actually thinking about caring for a little baby, who grows into a messy kid and eventually a full-blown adult.

Talk about overwhelming. This simple sentence below helped me shift the way I view motherhood. It’s a powerful thing that can easily be forgotten about during the grocery store tantrums, sleepless nights and stacks of dishes.

A woman’s home is the place where she can change the world.

The sessions covering women and motherhood at that conference really showed me how important mothers are in their kids’ lives and how important they are for their family. I felt inspired and encouraged to take on that role that has been given to me after that weekend.

best tip for being a mom

(Please note, this is not a pregnancy announcement!)

With Mother’s Day around the corner, I’ve had lots of mom on my brain lately. Motherhood is this beautiful, messy, scary, challenging and graceful thing that we (as women) are gifted. I’m excited for it, just not yet.

When I was in high school, I heard that your relationship with your parents will change after you leave for college. They were right- it definitely did. I never had a bad relationship with them, but once I went away, it was different. A little of the mothering and fathering that used to take place dropped off and was replaced with a new, fresh friendship.

Now that I’m three years out of college, that new, fresh relationship has grown and changed into this seasoned, nurtured relationship that’s a perfect blend of mother, daughter and friend. When I was little, I always saw my mom and her mom share a sweet relationship, but didn’t know that it was possible for me and my mom to have that same bond.

The closer I approach my own season of motherhood, the more I realize how important my mom was in shaping me to be who I am today, and the more I realize how important of a thing it is to stop and acknowledge, thank and kiss those important women in our lives who have helped mold, shape and inspire us to be everything we’re capable of being.

happy mother’s day to the moms and the soon-to-be moms.

You are loved.

You are cherished.

You are appreciated.

Our biggest DIY project, yet. An Update.

A month ago when I said we were busy, I just had NO IDEA what the term busy actually meant when you’re a home owner.

These last days and weeks have been a blur of dust, sanding, late nights and good old fashioned hard work. We are moving two weeks from tomorrow. Our goal is to have as much of the dirty and messy stuff done before we have to live there. So, we’ve taken our challenge extremely seriously and are trying to get as much changed, painted and sanded as we can!

More than a few times we’ve felt completely overwhelmed about what we’ve gotten ourselves into. Paint the kitchen cabinets. Tear out part of the kitchen ceiling. Paint all the rooms. Redo all the baseboard trim. Remove all paneling. There have been nights of little progress followed by weekends of huge, measurable progress! These past weeks have taken our marriage into uncharted waters.


When we were engaged so many people told us that if we can plan a wedding and survive the planning, then marriage will be a cake walk for us.

Not true.

If you survive home renovations without losing your mind, then the other days in your marriage will be pretty easy.

I promise I haven’t left my little slice of the internet. And I promise to bring more detailed posts of what we’ve been doing over there soon. There will be some juicy before-and-after posts. I can’t wait to share with you!


We’re slowly approaching the finish line, with some more late nights and long days ahead. I know we’ll look back at this time with sweet memories of how two new, naive home owners tried to conquer their 1977 ranch in just six short weeks. In between the dust, noise and sweat of the work we’re doing, I get glimpses of how our home will look in a month, a year and five years. I think about the dinners we’ll share around our table (in our newly dry walled kitchen), the pathways our kids are going to take as they learn to walk and eventually run around our house, and the conversations and laughter that will fill the halls.

On a completely related note—

I’ve been reading this book, Bread & Wine: a love letter to life around the table, by one of my favorite authors, Shauna Niequist over these last weeks, well really last two months or so. My sister introduced me to her books a few years ago. Shauna’s books (she has three now) are really little essays or short chapters about life. It’s easy to read just a chapter or two a night before bed because they’re short, but packed full of her godly wisdom about this life.

This book could not have come at a more perfect time in my life. The pages are filled with stories of how life happens around a table and around food. She talks about hospitality, opening your kitchen to those who you love and those who you barely know.

shauna niequist bread and wine

She says “this is a collection of essays about family, friendships and the meals that bring us together. It’s about the way God teaches and nourishes us as we nourish the people around us, about hunger, both physical and otherwise, and the connections between the two.”

I took a highlighter to the pages. Shauna’s way of writing is so personal, so simple, yet so powerful and inspiring. When I read the chapters, I feel as if I’m sitting across from her at her kitchen table and she’s telling me stories.

Jake and I have been talking about potential dates/months for a little housewarming party. We’ve thrown around a ton of ideas, most followed with the reason “if we wait until then, hopefully _______ will be done”. If we wait until our house if perfect, then we’ll never have a party! In the midst of having those conversations, I read this in Bread & Wine. It was perfect timing:

“This is why the door stays closed for so many of us, literally and figuratively. One friend promises she’ll start having people over when they finally have money to remodel. Another says she’d be too nervous that people wouldn’t eat the food she made, so she never makes the invitation.

But it isn’t about perfection, and it isn’t about performance. You’ll miss the richest moments in life- the sacred moments when we feel God’s grace and presences through the actual faces and hands of the people we love- if you’re too scared or too ashamed to open the door. I know it’s scary, but throw open the door anyway, even though someone might see you in your terribly ugly half-zip.” pg. 109

This is why all three of her books are in my nightstand. So much wisdom for so many areas of my life.

The recipes she shares are mouth-watering. Due to our crazy schedule, I haven’t made any yet, but when things slow down next month I plan on trying at least one of these:

blueberry crisp
breakfast quinoa
goat cheese biscuits

Even if you’re not in a home-owning, “I love to cook” chapter of life, there are bits and pieces of Shauna’s beautiful words and ideas and stories that you’ll connect with- I promise.

I could keep going on and on about this book, but I won’t. If you ask me about it in person, I might not be able to stop myself!

Thanks for your patience and for your understanding of why I’ve been absent from here lately.

I promise we’re doing well, and that we’re staying super safe. (safety goggles, masks and all!)




PSST- Just so you know, I was given an advance copy of the book to read and talk about to you. But, even if I had purchased it, I would have told you the same things as I did today!

We’ve been busy lately.

There’s been a ton of behind the scenes work around our house these last few months! I’ve been waiting for this day to break our exciting news to you, but had to wait for just the right timing.

We’ve finally been given the green light.

Without further ado…



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eat: orange quinoa stuffed acorn squash

I’m confused. Why would butternut, acorn and spaghetti squashes be considered WINTER squash varieties if they’re not available during the winter? I know it’s March, but hey, there’s snow everywhere. And spring doesn’t officially start until March 21.

I tried to find an acorn squash at the grocery store last night and had no such luck. With that in the back of my head, this recipe might be a little tough to serve for dinner tonight. If you find some, let me know! I love squash and I’m not ready for it to be gone yet.

If you can’t find an acorn squash for this recipe, a baked sweet potato would be a good substitute.

Lately I’ve been ‘nutritional powerhouse’ recipes. This one is no exception!

Here’s the run down for the main ingredients:

Acorn squash: one serving has high amounts of Vitamin A, C and B6, great amounts of potassium, manganese and magnesium, tons of fiber (9g for one 1/2 cup serving)

Quinoa: one serving has 8 g of protein (one egg only has 6g), 20% daily fiber, high amounts of magnesium, folate, iron and manganese.

The quinoa has a slight orange/citrus flavor from cooking it in some orange juice; the orangey quinoa mixed with the subtly sweet acorn squash is a killer combination! I never thought to cook quinoa in anything sweet- the quinoa cooking world is my oyster!

orange quinoa stuffed acorn squash

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how to be a Godly wife {and have a Godly marriage}

A few weeks ago, Jake and I went to a marriage conference. We didn’t go because our marriage is in trouble or anything like that. It was more for marriage maintenance, if you will. We joined 400 other couples in one of the most beautiful hotels in the city, for a weekend of learning, encouragement and life-changing conversations with each other.

Marriage is this amazing thing that God created for us. It’s this beautiful thing that has tradition and roots and history. It’s a lifelong promise a man makes to a woman, and a woman makes to a man; to have and to hold, for richer and poorer, in sickness and health.

It’s the literal and figurative moment in two people’s lives when the parents let go of their children as their own and allow for another family to begin; it’s that time when all the discipline, teaching and nurturing they poured into their own children start a legacy, first in the new marriage and eventually through their children having children.

how to be a Godly wife

I can’t imagine my life without Jake and without our marriage.
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eat: healthy chocolate cupcakes {may contain veggies!}

I am always game to try a dessert with a weird, secret ingredient in it. I like having Jake try to guess the secret ingredient! Usually he can’t- and when he can’t, I consider the recipe a success. If he can (cough, cough black bean brownies, I don’t make it again.)

This recipe was a success!

These cupcakes are so smooth and moist, they don’t require frosting. Who needs a 170 calorie cupcake recipe in their box? You do!

healthy chocolate cupcakes {with beets inside!} a yummy way to get some veggies

So, this secret ingredient has so many health benefits. It’s full of vitamins and minerals: vitamins A, B and C along with folate, magnesium and fiber. It’s another nutritional powerhouse. You can find this ingredient at every grocery store in the country. And it’s extremely affordable.

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eat: just the best chocolate fondue

Since I got our Vitamix for my birthday, we’ve been pouring through the recipe book and trying everything! We pulled it back out the other day and the recipe for chocolate fondue caught Jake’s eye.

I’m such a sucker for it, that I had a hard time coming up with reasons for us not to try it.

So, we started celebrating Valentine’s Day a few days ago. Ok, no we didn’t, but it seems almost illegal to make chocolate fondue just for fun.

The chocolate fondue I’ve had in the past has been good but not great, sort of waxy or weird tasting. This recipe beats those stereotypes. It just has TWO ingredients. And it’s amazing.

just the best chocolate fondue

This is so fun to eat with some girlfriends, a significant other or with your family.

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